Every year, April begins with April Fool’s Day. I thought it would be appropriate to spend a little time on Wisdom this month. This year I am looking intently into Integrity. One aspect of Integrity is right living or righteousness, which is living rightly, according to God’s way. This is not only righteous living, it is also wise living. The two are intricately connected. Todays’ post is Part 2 of 2; you can see Part 1 here. And today, I want to share with you how God has used my many mistakes to teach me His way, because I am hard headed like that.
So, on the one hand, I am grateful that I learned about being diligent from living more than half of my life as a terrible procrastinator and reaping consequences all along the way. It took many years, and many mistakes, for me to see that I just didn’t want to live that way. Now I know that procrastination is also contrary to God’s Word. Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8). Of course I am not completely “cured” because you never really lose that part of you. I am a Recovering Procrastinator and everyday is a challenge, but I know it matters now. I see that doing things God’s way brings peace.
I am thankful that every time I get prideful, I get humbled very quickly because this has taught me the difference between humility and humiliation, which is an important distinction. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of aservant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself bybecoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:3-8). Isn’t it kind that God allows us to a chance to humble ourselves before He gets involved.
I appreciate that when I was a kid and I lied, I got caught. My parents were as honest as the day is long (still are) and lying was totally unacceptable. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight (Proverbs 12:22). So, after a multitude of wrong turns, now I understand the value of honesty. And I prize it.
I have had countless lessons
in what NOT to do.
As a teenager in New Orleans, I lived the life of a college sorority girl. I just did it all before my 10:30pm curfew. Somehow, I didn’t get caught every time. And those habits continued through college, when I was a real sorority girl, and had no curfew, except for the 8am classes. I took school seriously. I worked hard and I played hard. And what I did learn from living this way had already been written about, probably nearly 3,000 years ago:
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine my heart still guiding me with wisdom and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life…
And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Think of all the wisdom that can be learned.
So, if I live to be ninety, then I am officially “middle-aged” now. Considering I may have a lot of life ahead of me, I like to turn over a new leaf. Rather than learning the right way, from doing things the wrong way, and then reading about it in the Word, I am trying to do it the other way around. Now I like to start with the Word, and make my life choices based on what I read in there. Seems like it is high time for that. How about you?